1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union

The 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union, also known as the Stalin Constitution, was the constitution of the Soviet Union adopted on 5 December 1936.

1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union
Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union
  • 1936 Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Territorial extentSoviet Union
Enacted byCongress of Soviets of the Soviet Union
Signed byJoseph Stalin
Effective5 December 1936
Repealed7 October 1977
Status: Repealed

The 1936 Constitution was the second constitution of the Soviet Union and replaced the 1924 Constitution, with 5 December being celebrated annually as Soviet Constitution Day from its adoption by the Congress of Soviets.[1] This date was considered the "second foundational moment" of the USSR, after the October Revolution in 1917.[2] The 1936 Constitution redesigned the government of the Soviet Union, nominally granted all manner of rights and freedoms, and spelled out a number of democratic procedures. The Congress of Soviets replaced itself with the Supreme Soviet, which amended the 1936 Constitution in 1944.

In practice, the 1936 Constitution asserted the leading role of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and legally cemented the totalitarian control of the party by General Secretary Joseph Stalin preceding the Great Purge. Many Eastern Bloc countries later adopted constitutions that were closely modeled on the 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union.

The 1936 Constitution was the longest surviving constitution of the Soviet Union. It was replaced by the 1977 Constitution of the Soviet Union ("Brezhnev Constitution") on 7 October 1977.